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Opening of new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport at stake (again)

Recent reports suggest that the need to remedy defects in a faulty fire prevention system and other construction faults will further delay the opening of the new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport.

An internal report by TÜV Rheinland suggests that the project has significant shortcomings and that the planned opening in Autumn 2020 is highly unlikely. In particular, the report detailed 11,519 deficiencies in the airport’s emergency lighting and safety power supply cables, which were replaced after the failed opening in 2012.

The airport’s operator, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (FBB), rejected the report, arguing that the airport will open (as projected) in October 2020 “if the construction companies and service providers will do their job”.

According to the FBB, it is not the number of defects that has changed, but rather the nature of the reporting. In the coming weeks, the number of defects is expected to decrease significantly.

Reports also suggest that dismantling measures could be employed in the main terminal; however, the FBB has rejected this rumor, claiming that the project is on schedule and that verification processes are in progress.

The new airport is expected to handle approximately 27 million passengers a year, with the option to install two further satellite terminals that would increase its maximum capacity to 45 million passengers. Brandenburg province and the state of Berlin each hold a 37% share in the project; the remaining 26% is held by the government.

However, due to the rapid growth of international air traffic – particularly in Berlin – the new airport is already considered too small, despite the projected extensions.

Despite these perceptions and the fact that Berlin’s Tegel Airport remains popular, the Berlin Senate has confirmed that Tegel Airport will be closed once the new airport is operational.

The new airport was originally scheduled to open in 2011. However, a faulty fire prevention system, construction failures and numerous management changes relating to the perating corporation and controlling supervisory board have delayed the project several times (for further details please see “Berlin’s new airport: and endless story?“).

For further information on this topic please contact Oliver Nissen at Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein by telephone (+49 30 814 59 13 00) or email (onissen@arneckesibeth.com). The Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein website can be accessed at www.asd-law.com.

This article was originally published by Oliver Nissen with Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein on May 22, 2019 on ILO.


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